From the West Liberty Website


January 2-3, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The No. 13-ranked West Liberty University wrestling team returned to the mats in impressive fashion at the annual Midwest Classic this weekend.

Coach Brian Davis’s short-handed Hilltoppers finished a strong 6th in a deep and talented field which featured 22 of the nation’s top NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III and NAIA wrestling programs. The event was hosted by the University of Indianapolis at Perry Meridian High School in Indianapolis.

Wisconsin-Parkside won the team championship with 127 points with Newberry (S.C.) second at 117 and Adams State (Colo.) taking third with 110 points. Host Indianapolis (104), Findlay (99.5), West Liberty (77.5), Mesa State, Colo. (64.5) and Grand Canyon, Ariz. (57) rounded out the top eight finishers.

Injuries left West Liberty with only eight wrestlers in the field but five of them placed in the two-day event with the Hilltoppers’ “M & M Boys” – Mitch Smith and Mitch Knapp – leading the way.

Smith, a returning NCAA Division II All-American, turned in a dominant performance in rolling to the 149-pound championship. The senior standout was the No. 3 seed at 149 but was never challenged in breezing to the title.

Smith finished his unbeaten weekend with a flourish by pinning No. 1 seed Craig Becker of Wisconsin-Parkside at the 4:53 mark of their 149-pound championship match. Becker entered the match ranked No. 1 in the nation at 149 pounds while Smith was No. 2.

Knapp just missed duplicating Smith’s championship feat but had to settle for runner-up honors at 197 pounds after dropping a heartbreaking 2-1 decision to Newberry’s Keeno Griffin in the championship match. Griffin is ranked No. 1 nationally at 197 pounds and is the defending national champion at that weight.

Unseeded Jarrod Shaw battled his way to a third-place finish at 165 pounds. Shaw, a sophomore, dropped an overtime decision to eventual champion Matt Gille of Wisconsin-Parkside in the championship semifinals but rebounded with an overtime victory against No. 2 seed Stephen Towne of Grand Canyon (Ariz.) in the 3rd-4th Place match.

Two other unseeded Hilltopper grapplers placed in the event.

Brian Leggett was 8th at 157 pounds while J.D. Ramsey also claimed an 8th-place finish at 285.

The West Liberty wrestling team will be heading back to the Midwest this weekend as the Hilltoppers were one of 16 teams selected to compete in the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) Cliff Keen National Duals.

The prestigious event is being hosted by the University of Northern Iowa at the UNI Dome in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. West Liberty will check in on Friday with multiple dual matches scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.

2010 Midwest Classic
(at Indianapolis, Ind.)
Team Scoring

1. Wisconsin-Parkside 127
2. Newberry 117.5
3. Adams State 110
4. Indianapolis 104
5. Findlay 99.5
7. Mesa State 64.5
8. Grand Canyon 57
9. Limestone 55
10. (tie) Mount St. Joseph, Trine 52
12. Northern State 49.5
13. Ohio Northern 44.5
14. Ashland 41.5
15. (tie) UNC-Pembroke, Wabash 40
17. Olivet 38
18. Central Missouri 34.5
19. Calumet Coll.-St. Joseph 30.5
20. Manchester 23.5
21. Campbellsville 23
22. King 6

Sean Jordan
lost to Jacob Holley King F2:20
advanced via forfeit
lost to Alex Johns UIndy 5-2

Mitch Smith - Champion
md TJ Riger Ashland 13-3
p Brandon Bradley UNCP 2:11
d Johnny Dillon Wabash 10-3
p #1 Craig Baker WI Parkside 4:53

Brian Leggett - 8th
lost to Dillon Bera WI Parkside TF
d Tim Pope Mt St Joe 7-5
d Zack McKeone Limestone 8-2
d Kyle Lone Trine 11-6
lost to Bryce Givens UIndy 8-2
lost to Latra Collick Newberry 12-7

Jarod Shaw - 3rd
d Kurt Monix Manchester 9-4
d Bryce Sopko Limestone 10-4
lost to Matt Gille WI Parkside 5-1
d Jim Neal Olivet 15-8
d Stephen Towne Grand Canyon 4-3

Matt Littleton
md Chris CHasteen Manchester 11-3
lost to Curtis Chenoweth Newberry 11-2
d Mike Wade King 5-2
d Eddie Manier Olivet 7-3
lost to Kkylel Kwiat Ohio Northern 12-6

Brandon Neifeld
lost to Bryant Blanton Newberry 4-0
d Josh Richardson King 11-4
d Dustin Boyd Calumet St Joe 9-4
lost to Matt Alexander Ohio Northern 3-1

Mitch Knapp - Second
p Dominic Demarco Adams St 4:38
d J. Ewing Ashland 9-2
d Shane Miller Mesa St 13-2
lost to Keeno Griffin Newberry 2-1

J.D. Ramsey - 8th
lost to Matt Clum Findlay RT
d James Malecheck WI Parkside 5-3
p Brandon Hayes Central MO 5:40
lost to Erik Stancil UNCP 9-3
lost to Matt Clum Findlay 5-3

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